Van issues automatic tickets to Edens speeders

May 30, 2008 4:00:22 PM PDT
If you drive through the construction zone on the Edens Expressway, you might want to make sure you're obeying the 45 mile-per-hour speed limit. The Illinois State Police have a photo enforcement van that monitors speed and tickets violators.

It's not for any lack of signage - it just seems that motorists choose to ignore the 45 mph speed limit in the repair zone. Bring in the state police photo enforcement van to slow it down and keep it safe.

"You have roads that are uneven, you have crash barrels, you have construction horses, you obviously have the IDOT workers themselves here, flag people on the ramp," said Trooper Dominick Valcone.

The van is used when workers are out and traffic volumes are light. The cameras, front and back, work with a radar beam 100 feet long and 8.7 feet wide.

"All your information, your face, your picture is going to be put right there on a data bar that's coupled with that violation at that time," said Valcone.

We set up on the outbound Edens near Dundee between 10 and 11 a.m. to see how many people would drive over the 45 mph limit in one hour. With the photo van in plain sight, 331 motorists passed at 46 mph or more, the highest speed at 68 mph.

A typical speed deployment in the van last 3 1/2 to four hours, but that's just the beginning - there's a whole review process that takes place before a driver receives a ticket.

All the photo data is downloaded to a secure web site. IDOT and state police make sure the driver and car in the pictures match up with the vehicle registration information. Once satisfied, the violation is sent, within 14 days of the alleged violation. With fines ranging from $375 to $1,000 dollars, some call the enforcement van simply a revenue generator.

"We're not hiding the van, it's not camouflaged, it's bright, it's got orange stickers on it, it's got a board on top - we've down everything we can to tell you to slow down," said Valcone.

That it does. Within minutes of setting up the van, the average speed of traffic slowed by 10 miles per hour.


Load Comments